UPDATE: Hazel Dell fire disrupts traffic

Crews cleaning up after blaze

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: October 9, 2012, 9:36 PM

 
House fire

No one was reported injured when a fire broke out in the garage of a west Hazel Dell home early Tuesday and spread to the second floor.

The fire was reported at 6:20 a.m. at 110 N.E. 96th St., near the intersection of Northeast 99th Street and Northeast Hazel Dell Avenue.

Southbound Hazel Dell Avenue was closed at Northeast 99th Street, resulting in a half-mile traffic backup.

When firefighters arrived, flames were visible from the street and the home’s front door was wide open, said EMS Capt. Mike Hollingsworth with Clark County Fire District 6. The fire appeared to have started in the garage and spread to the second story of the house, he said.

Firefighters immediately set up a defensive attack to control the blaze from outside and started search and rescue to look for anyone inside, District 6 Chief Jerry Green said. No one was found inside the home, he said.

Crews then started attacking the fire from the inside.

The fire was initially knocked down in less than 10 minutes, Green said. A small fire rekindled in the attic after that, Green said.

“It was a challenging fire because this house has what’s called balloon construction,” Hollingsworth said. That means there are no breaks inside the walls between the floors, which allows air to travel freely between the basement and attic, he said.

About 25 or 30 firefighters with District 6 and the Vancouver Fire Department responded to the fire.

The fire destroyed the garage and a truck, and damaged the second floor and the attic of the house. The lower floors were damaged by smoke, Green said.

A neighboring house was damaged by heat.

Crews remained on scene for a few hours to clean things up so a fire marshal could investigate.

Clark County Deputy Fire Marshal Richard Martin said the fire caused an estimated $180,000 in damage to the house's structure and about $30,000 in damage to contents.

Martin said he hadn't determined a cause as of Tuesday night and was still waiting to talk to the home owner or occupant.

American Medical Response and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office assisted. NW Natural also responded to fix a gas leak.

According to county property records, the house is owned by Kristina Andrews.